Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Lori Pace
You’re probably familiar with indecisiveness at work if you’ve ever worked with someone who began every sentence with “I’m unsure …”. Indecisiveness is the inability or unwillingness to make decisions. There are many factors that can cause indecisiveness, such as lack of confidence, impostor syndrome, or decision fatigue. It’s most often the fear of making mistakes that causes us to add disclaimers prior to each decision.
Indecisiveness can have a negative impact on your professional and personal life. You must recognize it and take the necessary steps to overcome your indecisiveness.
What Is Indecisiveness?
Ever struggled to choose between two items? You could be choosing which movie to see, what restaurant to eat, or even what product to buy. Indecisiveness refers to the inability or unwillingness to make a decision.
Being indecisive at work can have a significant impact on business decisions. Indecisiveness can lead to broken contracts and strained client relationships. Imagine you are a marketing manager. Every day, you have to make decisions to allocate tasks, approve new strategies and budgets, or sign off on them. Indecisiveness can not only make it difficult to manage your team effectively, but also cause delays in critical events.
What Do Indecisive People Struggle With?
- Make quick and effective decisions
- Be firm in your opinions
- Collaboration with others, especially if tasks are interdependent
- People follow through because they can’t decide if their idea’s efficacy is good enough
- Working in high-pressure environments where time is of the essence
The ability to make decisions is an essential workplace skill. It allows you to make informed decisions, persuade others, and perform at your best. You can become a successful employee, manager, or business owner by overcoming indecisiveness. It is important to understand where indecisiveness comes from. Let’s look at some common areas experts suggest that could be the source of your indecisiveness.
What Leads To Indecisiveness?
Now think back to a time where you were unable to make a decision. Think about the reasons you were unable to make a decision. It could have been fear of failure, fear that you might disappoint someone or hurt them, or even lack of clarity on your purpose. There are many factors that can cause indecision. These are reasons to be indecisive. Let’s find out if we can all relate to any or all of these.
Fear of Failure
Indecisiveness can be caused by fear of failure. This fear stems from not doing the right thing. Even after doing your research and running simulations, it’s possible to feel that you will fail when the idea is implemented.
Anxiety or distress over the future can directly impact your ability to make decisions. You may find yourself being quiet in meetings, or even not taking responsibility for your actions at work.
Society plays an important part in shaping and building us into who we are. External forces are a major factor in our lives, despite what we may believe. You can be distracted by the stress of disappointing your manager, family members, or colleagues. The opinions of others can influence your work and overshadow tangible solutions.
Indecisiveness can also be caused by a lack of confidence in one’s abilities, skills, and strengths. You’ll probably leave the table if you aren’t sure if you can do a good job. This can impact your standing in the team.
Someone who is more decisive might be chosen over you, even if your ideas and opinions are superior. Under-confidentness can make us feel stifled and limit our ability to express ourselves.
If you are tired, decision fatigue can lead to poor decisions. You’ll eventually burn out if you have to make many decisions each day. This psychological condition occurs when a person’s ability to make decisions becomes less important with each decision.
Brain fatigue is a result of continuous decision-making. Imagine that you are in a four-hour-long meeting to choose the logo that best suits your brand. You’re exhausted by the end and just do what comes to your mind. This can result in poor decision-making that could impact your business.
All of us have experienced analysis paralysis at some point in our lives. There are many instances where we have overanalyzed a decision and failed to find a solution. Analytical paralysis is when you overthink something to the point that it doesn’t lead to any outcomes or decisions. It could be that you are overwhelmed with information or overloaded by an urgent task. This is similar to when you have too much work and just want to do nothing.
Understanding the reasons you are indecisive can help you overcome it. If you are determined, there is nothing you cannot do. Let’s now see how you can stop being indecisive and become a decision-maker.
How To Overcome Indecisiveness
Once you have identified the root causes of your indecisiveness, you can learn how to overcome them. These are some helpful tips for dealing with indecision.
Concentrate On What You Know And Where It Can Take You
Our indecision often leads us astray. Because you are more comfortable in your indecisiveness, you’re more likely not to pay attention to what you know. Think about the things you already know next time you feel stuck.
The power of information can help you move in the right direction. The decision-making process will be easier if you focus on the relevant and available information. To find creative solutions, you can rely on a structure.
Share Your Concerns That Causes Indecisiveness
Talking with friends, family members, or colleagues can increase your confidence and provide you with a clear direction. Talking to others can help you overcome feelings of being overwhelmed, lost, or burdened.
Trusted people can help you find the right path and make it easier to make choices or decisions. It is impossible to do everything on your own, especially when your decisions could have an impact on others.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
To overcome indecisiveness, it is important to try something uncomfortable. You will be more likely to make better decisions if you do something that is unusual or scares you. Only by challenging ourselves, can we overcome our weaknesses?
You can achieve your goals more confidently by stepping out of your comfort zone. You will be more cautious when making decisions, taking in inputs and communicating with others.
Use Decision-Making Tools When Your Indecisiveness Kicks In
Decision-making tools like SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Outcomes-Threats) analysis or the Uncertainty Toolkit–a mental model to help you make a hypothesis by using available data–will help you decide without doubts. To help you navigate decision-making challenges and problems, create your own toolbox. It will be easier to take each step one at a time and move forward. This is particularly helpful when you are uncertain about the outcome, such as when you implement a new payroll system or rebranding.
Don’t Overthink The End Results
When you begin to doubt the outcome, you will fall into despair. Instead of worrying about the outcome and worrying about whether it will work, focus on the implementation. You can perform a health check once you have put your ideas into practice, seen them in action, and identified areas for improvement. It’s not a good idea to focus on winning or losing, but rather take each step one at a time and you will be more prepared to tackle the next.
Your perspective can change. You can see being indecisive is an opportunity to find multiple ways to accomplish something. Indecisiveness allows you to look at a problem from multiple angles. You’ll feel more confident when you can make the transition from indecisiveness into decisiveness.